The (Un) Liberal Media

Talk about your corporate media bias against Obama, notice the opening line of the ABC OTUS story posted on Yahoo:–abc-news-politics.html

“After a last-ditch appeal by the White House fell flat Tuesday…”  It’s a carefully worded partisan statement by writer John Parkinson/ABC OTUS News to make it appear that Obama is flailing and impotent against the might of John Boehner.  Look at the headline:  “Boehner Charges Ahead on Contempt Resolution for Holder”.  No flailing impotency on Boehner’s part there.  And the final, cliché partisan comment: “The contempt resolution passed out of committee strictly down party lines…” See? Politics as usual.  Not a word of the backstory to the whole thing to put the contempt witch hunt in perspective.

This is a textbook example of how the right wing-controlled corporate media controls and frames the message to the uneducated voter.


The Obama Economic Braintrust?

To all my liberal friends who support Obama unconditionally and consider him the smartest guy in the class and always in control, the following is a primary reason why I believe you’ve bought into the image and not the man.

In early 2008, Obama was considered virtually ignorant on economic policy by those in the know. His only econ advisor was Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago econ professor who stands maybe just to the Left of Milton Friedman and far to the right of Paul Krugman.  Obama linked up with Goolsbee in 2004 when Harvard econ dept. wouldn’t give him the time of day.

Since Obama knew what he didn’t know about econ, he did what he usually does in those situations: he went conservative. He went with the tried and true and raided the Clinton economic braintrust because they had whipped inflation and several economic crises, or so they would have you believe.  Obama brought in Larry Summers, the man who gave you the Wall St. meltdown when he lobbied Congress to not regulate derivatives, and he also gave you the repeal of Glass-Stegall, another leg which was kicked out from under Wall St. that led to its collapse.  He brought in Robert Rubin,  who was with Goldman Sachs for 26 years before going to work for Clinton.  Both Summers and Rubin never met a Wall St. brokerage firm or bank they didn’t like—a lot. The only Clinton econ alum Obama didn’t  enlist was Robert Reich, the only liberal of the entire bunch. Imagine that.

A 1991 quote by Summers, who was then Chief Economist of the World Bank: “There are no… limits to the carrying capacity of the earth that are likely to bind any time in the foreseeable future. There isn’t a risk of an apocalypse due to global warming or anything else. The idea that we should put limits on growth because of some natural limit, is a profound error and one that, were it ever to prove influential, would have staggering social costs.”  This is the guy who advised Obama on economics.

So, with Clinton’s braintrust firmly in place within the Obama campaign, what four names out of all available economists did they throw into the hat for Secretary of Treasury?  Not Robert Reich. Not Pulitzer Prize-winning and liberal economist Paul Krugman.  Nope, they went with:  1) the aforementioned Larry Summers, who had been forced out of the presidency of Harvard University under a cloud of scandal and a no-confidence vote by the faculty.  2) Timothy Geithner, who worked for Henry Kissinger,  Ronald Reagan, and Clinton, and headed the Fed Reserve Bank of NY.  He took over guidance of Bush’s proposed TARP for Obama. The program allowed Wall St. and banks to recoup all the money they lost or stole without being required to pay back one penny or make any operational or ethical changes to their business practices. 3) Jon Corzine, another Chicago School econ and ex-Goldman Sachs who later ran MF Global into bankruptcy.  Hundreds of millions of customer-invested money are unaccounted for to this day—and Corzine maintains he doesn’t know where the heck it went.  4) Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, who just lost $3 billion of customer-invested funds by gambling on derivates (thanks to Larry Summers) and just had the Senate jostling and elbowing each other out of the way to kiss his ring.

After Obama was elected President,  he chose to retain George W. Bush’s man, Ben Bernanke, as the chairman of the Fed Reserve, opting to not be concerned with the fact that it was on Bernanke’s watch that Wall St. and the banks melted down.

So, my point is this. Even if Obama hadn’t had Repugs and Blue Dogs obstructing his economic recovery plans, they were doomed to modest success anyway. The guys he goes to for advice are on the side of Goldman Sachs, Wall St., and the banks because that’s where they spent most of their entire careers.  The only exception is Geithner, who spent his governmental career catering to the will and whims of Wall St. and the banks.  Obama is great at speechifying, but he clearly doesn’t have the best interests of the middle and poverty classes at heart.  If he did, Robert Reich would be Treasury Secretary and Paul Krugman would be running the Fed Reserve.

The ultimate irony is that despite all the Milton Friedman disciples who populate the Obama Economic Braintrust, the Jobs Bill they developed with its emphasis on national infrastructure repair is pure John Maynard Keynes.  And high speed rail is just a modern day update of Dwight D. Eisenhower implementing  Keynesian economic principles to build the U.S. interstate highway system.

Obama is not as smart as you give him credit to be.  Or maybe he’s not really who you think he is at all.  Being right on a few social issues doesn’t make him a good guy.  He can propose all the reforms of mortgage loan modification and student loan programs he wants all the while knowing the Repugs will block every one.  The one best thing about Obama, the primary reason to vote for him in November is that he is not Mitt Romney.

Libertarians: Liars and Hypocrites

I’ve been engaging in correspondence with someone, apparently a Libertarian but definitely right wing, on one of my blog posts.  He raised the possibility of a Libertarian candidate possibly winning the presidential election in a close race.  That kind of statement shows how little people who think they’re Libertarians understand politics and what politicians who claim they’re Libertarians are.

Libertarian politicians are liars and hypocrites.  Take Ron and Rand Paul—please.  Both claim to be Libertarian yet both are dues-paying members of the Republican Party, which is as anti-Libertarian as a party can be, unless it’s the Democratic Party.  Republicans hate social welfare but are big on corporate welfare, which is funded by taxpayers who are Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, whatever.

Back to Ron and Rand Paul, who are both members of Congress and as such, receive free taxpayer-paid government healthcare as part of their perks.  These are two men who demand that Medicaid and Medicare be eliminated because people should either be responsible for their own healthcare plans or die.  Yet, neither of these men have refused their taxpayer-paid government healthcare plans and insisted on diverting the taxpayer-paid funds back into the U.S. Treasury. Liars and hypocrites.

Ron and Rand Paul, who are both members of Congress, are entitled to receive a lifetime taxpayer-paid government pension after they leave office, if they have spent (I will not say “served”) a minimum of five years in office.  So, if Rand were to serve only one six-year Senate term, he collects his taxpayer-paid government pension after he turns 62.  Where else but in Congress could one receive a government pension for a short-term temp job?  Neither of these men have refused to be included in the taxpayer-paid government pension plan. Yet, they both demand Social Security either be eliminated or privatized because people should be responsible for their own retirement or starve and die.  Except for Ron and Rand Paul.  Liars and hypocrites.

The Pauls believe that if something is worth doing it’s worth doing it yourself, kind of, with help from your local community.  Let’s put some reality into this fantasy.  Both Pauls had medical practices (they had to practice because they never got it right) ensconced in medical buildings.  It is unknown whether they were situated on the ground floor or forced their wheelchair-bound patients—if they accepted any—to surmount or descend several flights of stairs.  Undoubtedly, public roads directed patients to the Paul’s offices.  Public roads are maintained through tax dollars, paid by people who pay taxes so their local governments can maintain public roads and infrastructure.  But the Pauls don’t believe in paying taxes to maintain public roads and infrastructure.  Roads get potholes. Roads crack. Roads need maintenance or they can no longer direct patients to medical offices run by Ron and Rand Paul. So, if potholes developed in those public roads leading to or outside the Pauls’ medical offices, how would they handle repairing them? Being Libertarians, they should call on their fellow business owners and pass the hat around to pay to hire a road crew to fix the road. That’s the Libertarian way—taking care of things yourself and with your community.  Or, being business owners and Republicans, do they call their city council or county board of supervisors rep—or even the mayor county executive—and demand the road by fixed by a city or county road crew at taxpayer expense? You can bet they’re on the horn pressuring the politicians to plug the potholes.  Liars and hypocrites.

Every single public opinion poll shows that while small groups of fools will elect a faux Libertarian to Congress, no national majority will put one in the White House because we all see through their lies and hypocrisy.  Libertarianism may work in a small unincorporated community, but never on a national or even a municipal level.  This country is not a small remote village founded on some desolate outpost.  We’re a bit more than a population of forty people.  The “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” barter system only works on the frontier and in Congress (well, it used to work in Congress).

So anyone, like my Libertarian/right wing correspondent who truly believes in the possibility of a President Ron or Rand Paul is a complete fool and sees American politics through the spectrum of his own skewed ideology.

Show me a Libertarian dreaming of starting a business who would reject a taxpayer-paid government-subsidized low-interest SBA loan he qualifies for, and I’ll show you a fictional character.  Libertarians aren’t even Libertarians; they’re Republicans.  Liars and hypocrites.

President Obama Is Not Getting The Message That He’s Not Getting The Message Out

There is something wrong  when 68% of Americans blame George W. Bush for our stinkin’ economy but only 38% have faith that President Obama’s policies will get us out of this mess.  And the something wrong is the Obama’s campaign lousy communication skills.

In 2010, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that holding Obama to one term was job one.  What’s ironic about that statement is that it’s the only job the Republicans have created since gaining control of Congress that year.  The Republicans have blocked every job initiative Obama introduced, have refused to pass his budgets except for the idiot compromise that kept the Republicans from pushing the U.S. into default and created the dead in the womb so-called Super Committee.

I’ve read that Obama attempts to fly above the fray but the problem is he’s also flying above the heads of the independent and disgruntled Republican voters.  Karl Rove and Fox know how fly right into the bread basket of the average uneducated voter and fill them with alarm and rage over Obama while framing the Republicans as the great white hope,  and then using hatred of gays to bring in segments of black and Hispanic voters.

The Obama campaign should be buying up even more ad time than Rove and Sheldon Adelson can afford and starting ads with McConnell’s pronouncement, followed by video of every jobs bill, or labor friendly initiative and show how the Republicans stopped them all through “No” votes and filibusters.  One after another over the course of a 30-60 second spot.  Do another spot with a side-by-side comparison of Obamacare with Romneycare to show how identical they are. Follow that with interviews with parents of children who can now get health insurance for them, seniors getting help filling the Medicare Part D donut hole,  and business owners  telling how Obamacare has saved them money and helped their employees and their businesses.

But no, all the Obama campaign is offering is attack ads against Romney which are not that effective.  Romney remains behind Obama in the polls because most people don’t like Romney.  Except to his most avid and brain-dead supporters,  people can see him for the elitist phony that he is.

The non-Fox news channels are ineffective at getting Obama’s message out as well.  Process junkies like MSNBC’s Chuck Todd love to post the daily polls (along with the daily White House soup of the day (?)), showing that Obama’s in trouble over unemployment and the economy but he refuses to analyze why that is, which would open the door to again recapping the Republican intransigence in Congress which has effectively blocked every Obama move with the knowledge the media would blame Obama and provide plenty of air time to Republicans to push this fallacy on the malleable uneducated voters who can be swayed to vote Republican against their own best self interests.

It’s a mystery why Obama the candidate was such a superb salesman but Obama the President  is struggling to close the deal, at least according to the latest opinion polls.

And that’s something else the Obama campaign is missing the boat on. Media guys like Todd are so enamored of daily polls which show Romney close to Obama.  The Obama campaign could run ads showing poll after poll where Obama leads Romney nationally, with women, students, ethnic minorities.  They could simplify the concept of polls and show how national polls don’t matter anyway because the presidency will be decided by individual state election results.

At this point, Obama’s message is bottled up.  In order to win in November, he’ll have to get it in an easy-to-digest format the malleable uneducated voters can understand so that they’re swayed to vote for him.  The only time a message in a bottle was a success was for The Police.

Ding! Dong! The Dems Are Dead

Scott Walker’s victory in Wisconsin as far as Wisconsin goes because the Democrats regained control of the state Senate.  This means that Wisconsin will be a negative image of President Obama and Congress in that it will be the Democrats blocking (hopefully) all legislation proposed by Republicans and Walker.

But despite all the handwringing and finger pointing, Walker’s victory was to be expected. The symbolism is clear: the Republicans—and by Republicans read the top 1%–control the United States of America. The top 1% controls the corporate media, the elections, both political parties, the courts, the military, the economy, and employment through the realization of plans carefully-laid some 40 years ago by David and Charles Koch and their cabal of wealthy and powerful friends and associates.

But don’t put all the blame on them because they didn’t accomplish it alone. Republicans alone didn’t put together the current panel of Justices that sit on the U.S. Supreme Court that gave us Citizens United, and Republicans alone didn’t give us the PATRIOT Act, the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, the Bush tax cuts, the 2008 financial meltdown and TARP, the thefts of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections from Democratic victors, and the wars on women and employee unions.  The Democrats have been there every step of the way voting to confirm all SCOTUS Justices, the wars, the totalitarian acts which violate the U.S. Constitution, and everything else. The Democratic Party itself has been missing in action when it came to supporting the unions, as was demonstrated in Wisconsin these past few months.  The Democratic Party is also partially culpable for the War on Women because through its ineptness and timidity, it allowed the Republican Party to control and frame the message to voters so that today, standing up for true personal freedom and economic equality is evil.  When people visualize the Republican Party they see it as standing tall with God on one side and the American flag on the other.

Where the rise of the Republican Party/1% began in the 1980’s, the slow decline of the Democratic Party can be traced to a specific date: November 22, 1963.  On that date before a worldwide audience, the conspirators and their hired assassinations showed both political parties—but especially the Democrats, that all politicians, including presidents, are expendable.  They proved they could assassinate an American leader in front of a city of eyewitnesses and TV cameras and get away with it.  The Democrats quickly got the message and signed off on the fictitious Warren Report.  As a reminder of the lesson, both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were dispatched within a couple of months of each other in 1968 with similar successful cover-ups.

Although LBJ and the Democrats pushed through “liberal” legislation creating Medicare and voting rights and such, LBJ and the Democratic Party were brought down for lying the U.S. into the Vietnam War as surely as George W. Bush lied the U.S. into the Iraq War almost 40 years later.  The Democratic Party continued its slide in 1968 with the villainization  and FBI harassment of antiwar protest and left wing groups and with the Democratic mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley, waging violent and oppressive warfare against demonstrators protesting legally outside the outside the Democratic convention.  When public opinion turned to support of the antiwar protesters, it also turned against the Democrats and Richard M. Nixon was elected to the White House.

Even after Nixon resigned in disgrace in 1974 and was immediately pardoned by President and Republican Gerald Ford (who also sat on the Warren Commission), Americans briefly pouted by electing Jimmy Carter president in 1976 before forgiving the Republicans of all sins and happily ushered Ronald Reagan into the White House.  This is where the decline of the Democratic Party gained speed. Reagan’s victory, which completely demoralized the Democrats, who decided to join the Republicans since they couldn’t beat them.

Bill Clinton with the Democratic Leadership Council won the presidency in 1992 by mutating the Democratic Party into Republican-Lite and the Party hasn’t looked back since.  Despite all the rhetoric from both parties to the contrary, there is virtually no difference between the Democratic and Republican parties leadership or politicians.  Yes, the Republicans excel at dirty tricks and lies, but the Democrats accept scraps of money (compared to the bribes, er, paychecks the Republicans receive) from the same employers of the Republicans.  Every time the Democrats regained control of Congress (sometimes with simultaneous control of the White House) since 1980, they’ve done nothing to protect employees unions and women. They’ve done nothing to pass meaningful campaign finance reform, and they demolished the last vestige of consumer banking and investment protection when Clinton signed Democratic legislation repealing the Glass-Steagall Act, which ultimately lead to the financial meltdown of 2008.

While the Democrats continue to claim there is a vast and discernible difference between them and the Republicans, at the very same time they are continually trying to show the voters they are as God-fearing as the Republicans (by refusing to advocate the revocation of tax exemptions from politicized churches and tele-evangelists), as patriotic as Republicans (by voting to send troops to a phony war and continuing to fund the bloat and corruption of the military-industrial complex), and as pro-business as Republicans by voting for unnecessary tax cuts, free trade agreements, and turning a blind eye to the all the American jobs that have been shipped overseas.  The Democrats have done nothing to outlaw the electronic voting machines which enable the Republicans to steal two consecutive presidential elections.  The Democrats continue to speak softly, through Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and carry a very small stick, if any stick at all.  They talk support of employee unions but have stood by impotently as the Republicans roll past them in pursuit of making the union movement in this country and around the world extinct.  And just like the Republicans, they have actively enabled corporate mergers to decimate true market competition, as they refuse to enforce antitrust laws, and approve commissioners to the FCC whose goals were to de-regulate the public airwaves and cable industries, allowing a handful of companies to monopolize all televised and broadcast outlets in America, most of the staunch supporters of the Republican Party. Newspapers, or what’s left of them, are also in the firm control of a handful of corporations also aligned with the Republicans.

The Democrats can’t even get judges appointed to the many vacancies on U.S. District courts, judges who would be able to stem the tide and perhaps reverse the assault on personal freedoms and voting rights that are successfully being waged by the Republicans in the face of non-action by the Democratic U.S. Department of Justice.

The Democrats have abdicated their adversary position to the Republicans—despite self-righteous rhetoric in front of TV cameras—to be just about almost close enough like them so they can keep their phony baloney Congressional jobs.  Staying in office has become part important than actually doing anything beneficial and important in office.

Because of the way the Republicans have masterfully framed their message, and public opinion polls to the contrary, most voters see Republicans as representing the future and Democrats as history and irrelevant. Wisconsin proved that last night.  To Republicans, Obama’s 2008 victory was just a transitory blip on their radar screen.  They specialize in long term planning, and they have all the time in the world to make those plans a reality.  Just ask the Koch brothers.

Mitt Romney: The Latest GOP Goat Leading Republican Sheep To Slaughter

When Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, it was 47th out of 50 states in job creation, 47th out of 51 if you include Washington, D.C.  Yet his campaign touts that state unemployment during his term was only 4.7%. (What is it about the digits 4 and 7 to Romney? Is he a numerologist in addition to being a Mormon?) But if Romney wasn’t creating much in the way of jobs, how can this low unemployment rate be accounted for? According to Andrew Sum, professor of economics at Northwestern University, as well as director of Northeastern’s Center for Labor Market Studies, the national unemployment rate was dropping, and people who had lost their jobs in Massachusetts stopped looking for work or moved out of state, removing themselves from the state workforce and unemployment statistics.

“The unemployment rate fell only because people were leaving the workforce in droves during Romney’s term. There was not one measure where the state did well under his term in office. We were below average and often near the bottom. “Under his administration, Massachusetts lost a huge number of blue-collar jobs that provided an opportunity for the middle class,” Sum has said in interviews with the Boston Globe and the Washington Post.

As governor, Romney did what he plans to do as president: he cut spending and government services. In this fashion, he proved that cutting spending and government services does nothing to grow the economy and create jobs.  As president he would prove this again but on a national level. Well, actually. George W. Bush has already proven it, Romney would just reaffirm the results.

But the thing is, Romney’s supporters will never look beneath the phony veneer of economic achievements that he’s trying to peddle to the nation.  Romney is no more a job creator than he is presidential material.  As for being successful in business, the Bush boys proved you can stink as a businessman yet still make a lot of money if your dad is a powerful politician with vast political, business and legal contacts.  The difference between Romney and President Obama is that anyone whose wealthy father ran the largest auto factory in the world and later become a state governor with extensive political, business and legal contacts can easily get started in business and make lots of money, maybe even become a one-term state governor.  It’s quite a bit more difficult for someone from a poor, single parent household to make it into Harvard Law School, be chosen editor of the Harvard Law Review, be elected state and then U.S. Senator, and finally president of the United States.  Romney’s career was made for him; Barack Obama is a self-made man.

With no real accomplishments to boast about, Romney’s team employs lies and deception and attempts to pile false accusations on Obama, which is standard operating procedure for what passes for today as Republican Party, at least the way it’s currently being run by the Koch Brothers, along with the likes of Philip Anschutz, Richard Mellon Scaife, Richard DeVos, and Rupert Murdoch.  They understand that Republicans are sheep, accustomed to being members of a flock through their fervent attendance of church every Sunday.  Sheep don’t mind being fleeced if they’re unaware it’s happening, and these men have become expert sheep-shearing shepherds.

Abortion? Gay marriage? Illegal immigrants? Terrorists? The war on Christmas? Forget all that. These are just hot button issues to get the flock moving as one to the slaughterhouse, led by the Judas Goat, who changes every four to eight years. This is Romney’s year to play the goat.  For the one-percenters have two goals and two goals only: no taxes on the rich and no government regulation on big business. A codicil to this is private profits and socialize debts and losses. They use the vast media outlets they own to push the hot button issues to get the flock scared, to feel they’re being surrounded by packs of liberal, socialist, communist, weak on terrorism, big spending, anti-god-fearing, abortion loving, gay wolves. Romney is not the biggest nor the best goat to lead the sheep to safety but he’s the only one they’ve got this time around.  So they meekly, enthusiastically, willing allow Romney to lead them to certain economic and financial slaughter if he becomes president. Although Romney has yet to release his proposed economic proposals, what he has repeated is the century-old mantra of the top 1%: no taxes on the rich and no government regulation on big business. That’s all he’s got.

Being sheep, his Republican supporters are too stupid to understand that in the past 30 years of big business/Republican control of the federal government, they’ve either seen their wages fall way behind those of corporate CEO and officers or lost their jobs and retirement altogether, and many have lost their small businesses and their homes.  But since the Republican Party wraps itself in God and country and the sheep consider themselves American patriots, they turn their fearful sheep’s eyes to the dreaded, baleful, evil wolf packs encircling their flocks and then look to the latest Goat to lead them to the “safety” of the abattoir. A quick blow to the head and slit of the throat and the poor little lambs never knew what hit them.  And there’s a new generation of sheep being born all the time.

Obama will most likely win re-election this year—if his campaign can rally enough support among the higher-thinking animals.  After his loss, Romney will most likely be put out to pasture as a panelist on Fox, which is appropriate since foxes are natural predators of sheep, too.  Perhaps Romney is a fox in goat clothing?

For more on the twin goals of the 1%, read Norman Goldman’s excellent autobiography “Journey to Justice”.  He lays it out better than anyone else in the liberal media; simple, clear, and concise.